►An end has a start

Got you curious with that title? (I borrowed it from one of the albums of the band The Editors). Then, read on 🙂

Two days ago,  I had the last important exam at university (classical guitar) which I managed to do with very satisfying result and which means that I’ve almost completed my bachelor in music.

Almost, because I’ve yet to do a last test, next week, in a discipline that has only 3 credits (it’s one of those you can choose freely) and which I shouldn’t have chosen, because I didn’t manage to pass the first two tests and I do need the 3 credits to complete my bachelor, arghh :S… but if I’m not totally unlucky, I guess I’ll manage to do it, and there’s still the possibility to repeat the test in september (special rules for students who are finishing).

Anyway, these 3 years at Évora University were totally awesome, I’ve learned so much and made a big evolution in my guitar playing skills (which doesn’t surprise, having had the great Dejan Ivanovich as my teacher), but also gained a lot of knowledge and improvement of my musicianship in general.

Then there are all the fantastic people I met and friends I made, not to mention concerts, partys and events I participated in, or certain academic traditions in which I took part.

Or even the city, which is beautiful (classified by the UNESCO as World Heritage), just one  quick photo for you, so not to forget what I wanted to say 😉 :

Évora (Diana Temple)
Évora (View of the Diana Temple) - Autor: Rita Faleiro

Thinking again about my musicianship, I guess I know today what I didn’t, 3 years ago:

this was just the beginning. When I started at university, I imagined it as the highest degree I’d make (and it might really be), but I never thought that there was so much I’d still have to learn and discover by myself, probably over the whole rest of my life.

I did know that one never stops learning and I also had full perception that my playing was far from perfect, but I had to go through these 3 years of intense learning to realize how “ignorant” I still am, although I already do know quite a lot and became like 10 times a better musician then when I started, 3 years ago. But still, I now am fully conscient of the fact that this is only the beginning…

There’s SO much to learn, to listen to, to discover, to read and to experience, and I’m not even talking of my instrument yet. Just musicianship in general. There’s so much history I don’t know yet, composers of whom I only know their name, works I never listened to, even instruments I’ve never seen or heard.

And then there’s my instrument. So many fantastic pieces to learn, to play, so many scores to discover, so many technical improvements I can still make, so many musical and interpretational aspects that I still don’t fully understand (one thing is to do what your teacher says, the other is to fully understand why and be able to get to that conclusion by yourself).

And then again, the’re so many other instruments. I do play (at least to a basic level) one more, the piano. But that’s not enough. Not only do I have plans to improve my piano playing, but I also have “fallen in love” with the sound of the saxophone and so I want to learn to play it, at least to a “medium” level, one day…

Oh, but I could go on and on. I want to improve my skills in composition (so I can produce my own songs more easily, quicker and better…), want to take my project to the next level (live concerts), and also integrate (or start, that depends) other projects (especially chamber music). But I guess that you, my reader, are getting already a little tired, so for now that’s all, and I finish this post with an announcement I’m very proud of:

In exactly one week from now, I’m GETTING MARRIED!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂



►Problems with Youtube (black boxes) – and how to solve it

Just had a weird problem with Youtube videos on my PC:

couldn’t play most of the videos – on Youtube site nothing worked, and embedded videos only a few worked, I actually first noticed when opened this blog, instead of all the videos there were only black boxes. At first I got alarmed because I thought it could be the plugin or wordpress or the hosting. But then I noticed on other sites and even Youtube had the same issue.

So I googled for it, and found it to be a common problem, but was totally misleaded, as I discovered later. People were mainly talking about problems because of Flash update or other issues, so I updated the browser (Firefox), the Flash plugin, everything.

No change at all. I continued to dig and search, and then finally, on Youtube itself, I found the answer in the comments of a video that had the inspiring title “The video won’t play, what to do now?!”: clear the browsing history, sessions, cookies and cache.

Or, simplifying: press CTRL+SHIFT+DEL (no, that’s NOT the one that reboots your computer ehehe :P) and at the top where it says “History from today” change to “All my history” and then press “Clear”,

That step of selecting the whole history is ESSENCIAL, as I had tried before, but only selected history of today and nothing had changed.

After doing above step, the very same video started to work immediately after pressing F5 to reload the page. Didn’t even need to restart the browser.

So you ask: Why? What happened? Well, I’m sorry, that’s the only part I can’t answer. I plain just don’t know, and couldn’t find any answer either. A bug in FireFox? I doubt that, because I read about people having the same issue on Chrome and Safari…

Anyway, hope this post might help someone out one day 🙂

Ah, and if by chance YOU know the answer to that question, please share 🙂

►Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker for Guitar 4tet

Don’t know if I mentioned it yet, I’m finishing university, and tomorrow is one of the last exams. It’s a test in ensemble music, I’m part of a guitar quartet, and one of the pieces we’re playing is the Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

The arrangement for 4 guitars is made by The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, one of the best guitar quartets in the world, and I’d like to show you their brilliant recording. We can only dream of getting close to that…


And to complete this post, here’s the original for orchestra. I don’t post one of the videos with ballet, because I looked hard but couldn’t find any decent recording regarding the audio (be it quality of interpretation). But you can easily look that up yourself, it’s beautiful to see, obviously. I post two recordings, I like both, but interpretation is quite different. You can comment which you like best 🙂